Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) Incredibly Naive Re: IAPT

CCG’s are rubber stamping the funding of IAPT services, without questioning the alleged 50% recovery rate for depression and the anxiety disorders. But CCG’s would never give approval to the dissemination of a psychotropic drug based solely on the manufacturer’s claim. It seems that GP’s on CCG’s are too busy to critically appraise IAPT’s claim.  CCG members need to ask why £1bn has been spent on IAPT services that have never been independently evaluated using a rigorous methodology.  My own, by no means definitive study of 90 consecutive attenders at IAPT suggests a 10% recovery rate [ the paper ‘IAPT The Need for Radical Reform’ can be accessed by selecting below and right clicking https://connection.sagepub.com/blog/psychology/2018/02/07/on-sage-insight-improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-iapt-the-need-for-radical-reform/].  CCG’s are like the Titanic, heading towards an iceberg, on board are not only depressed and anxiety disorders passengers but a recent cohort of those with long term physical health conditions and medically unexplained symptoms:

 

 

Via my MP, Maria Eagle I put the following questions to the Liverpool CCG, (one of the CCGs covering the IAPT clients I examined in the North West) and their response dated March 6th 2018 was as follows:

Question 1.

 

Are the CCG aware that the recovery rate in the IAPT Service they fund is just 10% (far short of the 50% recovery rate targeted by Alan Johnson, then Labour Minister in 2007 when the service was set up).

 

Response 1.

 

Latest local data indicates that the current recovery rate for the service stands at 50%, targets for access and recovery are under regular review with performance reported to NHS England and published nationally and through LCCG Governing Body papers.

 

Question 2.

 

What, if any independent data do the CCG use in assessing the IAPT Service? Response 2.

All IAPT services must assess their performance using nationally mandated measures contained within the IAPT Minimum Data Set (v1.5). Information on these measures and the outcomes achieved by IAPT services can be obtained from NHS Digital.

 

Question 3.

 

Why have the CCG never asked IAPT service users their opinion of the service? Response 3.

All IAPT services routinely ask every IAPT service user their opinion of the services using 2 measures, the Patient Experience Questionnaire (Assessment) and the Patient Experience Questionnaire (Treatment). Information on these measures and the patient satisfaction levels achieved by IAPT services can be obtained from NHS Digital.

 

Question 4.

 

Why do the CCG consider it acceptable to continue to fund a service, were assessments are conducted by telephone by the least experienced and qualified staff? Are they supporting a double standard for physical and mental health?

 

Response 4.

 

LCCG has commissioned a service in line with NICE guidance both in terms of accessibility and responsiveness, but also the required skills of staff employed by the service.

 

Question 5.

 

What steps will the CCG take to ensure that evidence based treatment takes place in IAPT? Response 5.

All treatment provided by Talk Liverpool conforms to the following NICE Guidelines which lay out the evidence based therapies that should be offered for disorders of anxiety and depression:

 

NICE Guidance for depression in Adults (CG90)

NICE Guidance for Depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem (CG91) NICE Guidance for Common Mental Health Problems (CG123)

NICE Guidance for Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder in Adults (CG113) NICE Guidance for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder in Adults (CG31)

NICE Guidance for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CG26) All the above can be accessed through;

https://www.nice.org.uk Question 6.

How will the CCG ensure that GPs are given comprehensive data on the functioning of their patients? Currently data is supplied to GPs on less than half of patents and purely in the form of psychometric test results, there are no ‘gold standard’ diagnostic assessments conducted at all. How will the CCG remedy that IAPT workers do not know what they are treating?

 

Response 6.

 

GPs are informed of the outcome of all their patients’ therapy episodes with Talk Liverpool. This includes both psychometric scores and clinical information. With regard to “gold standard diagnostic assessments”, the IAPT service is a treatment service and not a formal diagnostic service. Talk Liverpool provide problem descriptors (and not formal diagnoses) as mandated by the IAPT Dataset V1.5 set out by NHS England, using the nationally mandated psychometric tests (details of which can be found in the IAPT Data Handbook published by NHS England).

 

Links:

 

http://content.digital.nhs.uk/iapt

 

http://ipnosis .postle.net/PDFS/iaptoutcomestoolkit2008november(2).pdf

 

Further information relating to IAPT nationally can be obtained through the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and NHS England who have recently published the IAPT Manual which outlines the model that all IAPT services should follow (including some of the procedures implemented by Talk Liverpool including some outlined in the responses given above).

 

Links:

 

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/workinpsychiatry/nccmh/mentalhealthcarepathways/improvingac cess.aspx

 

https://www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/pc-mis/newsarticles/lAPT%20Manual 30OCT17.pdf

 

 

I hope that you and Dr Scott this information helpful.

Yours sincerely

 

Ian Davies

Chief Operating Officer

 

Liverpool CCG show no evidence of having bothered to read my analysis of 90 cases, and have not answered my questions, they have simply acted as the mouthpiece for IAPT.

 

Dr Mike Scott

National Audit Office Not Publishing Its’ IAPT Investigation?

Whatever happened to transparency and accountability! Last year the NAO invited the public to make submissions for its’ IAPT investigation, but it seems a letter from the NAO dated February 14th 2018  obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) by a Dr Elizabeth Cotton states ‘you requested information …. that relates to the decision not to make the report publicly available  … correspondence and any documents sent by the NAO to the UK health bodies involved that outline the key findings of the inquiry…. The NAO is still drafting its findings and these have not been communicated to any of the health bodies’.

 

 

Under the FOI there is an exchange of e-mails between NAO and NHS England, one from the NAO dated June 28th 2017 is titled ‘NAO investigation into the integrity of IAPT performance data’ and strangely states ‘we have not yet decided for definite whether we will publish a report’.  I made a submission to the NAO on July 25th 2017 and I, like all those submitting evidence which ran to Autumn 2017, would have assumed a report would be published, otherwise they might have considered it a waste of energy!

I have e-mailed the NAO and await a reply.

 

Dr Mike Scott

‘IAPT -The Need for Radical Reform’ 3 Commentaries

The Journal of Health Psychology has just published the 1st of 3 Commentaries on my paper ‘IAPT- The Need for Radical Reform’ https://connection.sagepub.com/blog/psychology/2018/02/07/on-sage-insight-improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-iapt-the-need-for-radical-reform/ , the other 2 commentaries will be published online in the next week or two. I will be writing a commentary on the commentaries.  The 1st of the Commentaries is by Sami Tamimi (see below):

‘The diagnosis is correct, but National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidelines are part of the problem not the solution’

Mike Scott’s study provides data demonstrating that the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies project is not leading to improved outcomes or value for money. I present further data from both the adult and children and young people’s versions of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies that lends supports to this conclusion. However, while Scott argues in favour of better compliance with National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidelines and greater model expertise, I argue that it is this ‘technical’ focus that is part of the problem not the solution.

1Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, UK
2Health Education England, UK
3University of Lincoln, UK
Corresponding author:
Sami Timimi, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation
Trust, Trust Headquarters, Lincoln LN1 1FS, UK.
Email: stimimi@talk21.com

Interesting that similar findings in Children and Young Person’s IAPT.

Dr Mike Scott

 

 

Manchester Arena Bombing – The Young and Most Debilitated Poorly Served?

Young people effected by the bombing are having to wait 7-8 months for CAMHS services. The most debilitated adults have sought private counselling or been placed on a CBT waiting list.  These findings are from the Kerslake report on Services response to the Manchester bombing published last week. Worryingly there is no indication that evidence based CBT has yet been made available. This is not to say that most people have not been grateful for the assistance they have had to date, but this is not unexpected as only a significant minority of trauma victims suffer long term debility.

 

 

 

The following are the psychological abstracts from the report:

2.27. Feedback about the NHS Manchester Resilience Hub (established after the attack

to coordinate the care and support for children, young people and adults whose

mental health has been affected by the attack wherever they may live) was largely

positive, although many commented they would have liked something sooner.

Participants appreciated the three-monthly contacts from the Hub and felt

reassured that someone was there for them.

 

“I think the services set up to help those struggling with their mental health

following this event are great too and I feel happy knowing there is always

someone I can talk to if I need to.”

 

“I do however feel that there is a lack of counselling for young people.”

“The counselling support provided in the hospital did not appear to have the skill

level or approach for this type of situation. The counsellor was super-intrusive

coming into the room at 7am.”

 

“I contacted the Resilience Hub and both me and my daughter filled out the

questionnaire. Someone contacted us straight away and felt that my daughter

needed further support, which was arranged quickly. I felt there was lots of

support available. I also felt it helpful that the Hub were going to keep sending

questionnaires every three months to check how people are doing.”

 

“My son was referred for counselling through the Manchester Resilience Hub and

is on a waiting list for CBT as they feel he may have Post-Traumatic Stress

Disorder. The counsellors from Reflections in Oldham are brilliant.”

 

“My GP was extremely helpful and made a referral to CAMHS, however, there is a

seven-month waiting list.”

 

“My daughter has been referred to CAMHS for PTSD and low mood, however,

there is an eight month wait for this.”

 

“The counsellor at my daughter’s school is very good and offered to do some

sessions for me too. I went back multiple times and found it helpful.”

 

“The caller said she was told how she was feeling was normal and that they would

call her in three weeks. This wasn’t helpful as at the time she needed to speak to

somebody.”

 

“I feel as though the email received in October could have been sent earlier to

those who had been affected by the attack. I feel as though I have come a long

way since May. I’m less jumpy, having less nightmares and emailing my story was

nice to get it off my chest.”

 

“The attack has affected my mental health to the extent that I have been unable to

start my university course as planned. My mental health deteriorated, I had to

seek private psychotherapy after being diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety.”

 

“I have been in touch with the Survivors’ Network as well as the Manchester

Resilience Hub and they all provided great support. The Foundation for Peace

have written to the children’s school with tips on how to support them.”

 

“My place of work paid for private counselling sessions; I was a mess and did not

stop crying for the first three sessions. I have not been in work since the attack. I

spend most of my time talking to a war veteran who gives me support.”

4.39. The strategy was to communicate a ‘normalisation’ and support message not only

in Greater Manchester but via NHS national networks. The advice given was that

directing people into treatment at an early stage was potentially harmful and was

an inappropriate response to normal responses which people experience after

such an incident. If, after four weeks, people were experiencing difficulty e.g.

mood shifts, trouble sleeping, experiencing panic, then they should be pointed to

further mental health support. This advice relating to psychological reactions to

traumatic experiences was widely circulated within hours of the incident,

describing what were normal reactions, when to seek help, and from where to get

help. Efforts were made to circulate these messages through a range of media

platforms including digital and broadcast

 

Dr Mike Scott

NOTE: Victim Support provided the front door in the 1st 4 weeks after the bombing